The 14th annual “One Night Stand” art show returns to the Ole Miss Motel this Saturday after cancelations due to COVID-19 last year. The exhibit, which has been a cornerstone of the arts community since 2007, will showcase the work of nine artists from around the South, who will each take over one room of the motel.
Erin Austen Abbott, who founded the show in 2007, said the show’s return comes with mixed emotions.
“Well, I am nervous about it being back, of course, because of COVID,” Abbott said. “But I am excited that it can continue and that the artists were on board to help make that happen.”
The original concept of the show was to let artists display their work in their room in whatever way they see fit — and let patrons roam the hotel from there.
However, this year, Abbott made some adjustments in order to accommodate patrons’ and artists’ safety. She said that the event normally allows patrons to move freely through the motel, so the show will look a little different for many.
“There are 30-minute intervals for people to sign up… I’ve (also) got a system where people will enter one-way,” Abbott said.
Abbott also included a “first dibs hour,” which will be the only paying tickets–and will involve patrons experiencing the event an hour before the event starts.
“You can move freely, especially if you’re a little more worried (about going out),” Abbott said. “There will only be 50 slots total to visit the nine rooms throughout that hour.”
While she knows that this aspect will be the most trouble for the event, she is not worried about how the patrons will react.
“I know everyone’s going to be very understanding and accommodating,” Abbott said.
This year’s efforts to organize the event have been “more of a grassroots effort than it’s ever been,” according to Abbott, who did not have all artists confirmed until about three weeks ago. Some artists decided not to come out of concern for their safety.
“I totally understood and gave them a slot for next year if they weren’t going to be on board this year,” Abbott said. “This show couldn’t go on without the artists and without the artists’ support — and, of course, the community support — but the feedback that I got last year when I didn’t do it (expressed) disappointment.”
While this year’s show will feature more regional artists, Abbott usually invites artists from across the country to showcase their work.
“I always look forward to bringing not just local artists (to the show), but also bringing artists to Oxford,” Abbott said. “I really like to let them see what we have going on in Oxford and just how amazing our community support is here.”
Heather Sundquist Hall, an artist from Smithville, Texas, will be making her third appearance at “One Night Stand.”
“I think I’m excited in seeing how this special and unique event pivots into the weird times we are living in and to get to experience the joyful energy of the Oxford community,” Sundquist Hall said.
Sundquist Hall has only presented her art once since the pandemic began, relying almost exclusively on social media to share and sell her work.
“I am excited to have this opportunity to witness people seeing my work in real life because it is such a great feeling,” Sundquist Hall said.
Dave Patel, the manager of the Ole Miss Motel, has been in his position for 11 years. While the relationship that Abbott has with the motel superseded him, Patel said that Abbott and the show have always been great to work with.
“We’re very excited (about the event this year),” Patel said. “We missed it last year.”
Patel said that they are expecting a large turnout for the event since so many missed the event last year.
“I think a lot of people missed it last year. So since it’s coming this year, I am optimistic that a lot of people will come,” Patel said.
The “One Night Stand” art show will be held at the Ole Miss Motel on October 16, from 5:00-10:00 p.m. Tickets are available on the website and are free outside of the “first dibs hour,” which will be $25.00. For more information, please visit the Oxford Arts Council Website